Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday opened the construction work of the country's first-ever 31.241-km underground metro rail project, Mass Rapid Transit Line-1 (MRT-1).
She unveiled the inaugural plaque of MRT Line-1, joining its launching ceremony at Purbachal in Rupganj of Narayanganj, on the outskirts of Dhaka.
The MRT Line-1 having both underground and elevated facilities will be constructed at an estimated cost of Tk 52,561.43 crore by 2026.
The first underground metro line will have two parts -- a 19.872-km part from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur (Airport route) and an around 11.37-km elevated line from Natun Bazar to Purbachal.
The airport-Kamalapur part includes 16.4-km underground with 12 stations, while the Natun Bazar-Purbachal part includes seven stations.
A total of six metro rail routes will be inaugurated in the capital city Dhaka by 2030.
To implement the MRT Line-1, Japan International Cooperation (JICA) will finance Tk 39,450.32 crore, while the rest Tk 13,111.11 crore will be drawn from the government’s fund.
Also read: Construction work of underground metro rail to be inaugurated Thursday
Some eight lakh passengers will be able to travel through the MRT Line-1 every day. Passengers will take only 25 minutes to travel from Airport to Kamalapur with breaks at 12 underground stations and 21 minutes from Natun Bazar to Purbachal with breaks at seven stations.
Besides, passengers will be able to reach Purbachal from Kamalapur with an interchange in Natun Bazar station within only 40 minutes with breaks at 16 stations.
Both the elevated and underground stations will have lifts, stairs, and escalators.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the MRT line-1 project at Tk 52,561.43 crore in 2019.
On December 28 last year the prime minister opened the operation of the country's first ever metro rail service on the Uttara-Agargaon part of MRT Line-6 (Uttara-Agargaon-Farmgate-TSC-Motijheel-Kamalapur). The work of MRT-6 line till Motijheel will be completed by December 2023 and will be extended to Kamalapur by June 2025.
The construction work of MRT-5 (northern route) will be inaugurated in July 2023. MRT-5 (northern route) line will be from Savar's Hemayetpur to Bhatara via Gabtoli, Mirpur and Gulshan.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi, Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori, Secretary of Road Transport and Highways Division ABM Amin Ullah Nuri, Managing Director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) MAN Siddique and Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Ichiguchi Tomohide were present.